Editorial: Plenty of alternatives to plastic straws

Plastics have their place in our society, but right now there are far too many of them

The bottom line is that there is no need for plastic straws.

The City of Duncan recently considered a ban on this particular scourge on the environment, but have at least postponed such a move as they want to be able to properly address the needs of those who are disabled who must use a straw. This is really the only group that has to use any kind of straw. For the rest of us, it’s a choice.

And even for those who must use a straw, there are plenty of alternatives to the single-use plastic tube that all too often ends up on the ground as litter, or in a landfill.

Plastics have their place in our society, but right now there are far too many of them, and they are often serving no real purpose (like the three layers of packaging you have to cut through to get to a simple purchased item). Plastic straws fall into this category.

Instead of plastic, people who need or want to use a straw can carry their own bamboo, metal or glass one (Enviro Glass Straw in Cobble Hill makes and sells an array of glass straws). Some food outlets already give out paper straws instead of plastic, though we’d argue for something more in the reusable family. If metal gets too hot to use with hot beverages, and paper disintegrates, try out the bamboo or glass options. Perhaps restaurants can even stock a few reusable options for those who may forget their own straw.

With so many choices, there is no real reason to continue to allow the willy-nilly handing out of plastic straws to all comers. And if someone is really, really wedded to plastic straws, there’s nothing to say they can’t carry their own, they just won’t be handed one at the drop of a hat at every restaurant they enter.

We think if Duncan (and we would hope other local governments would follow suit) is serious about this they will eventually have to legislate. Many don’t like to change unless they have to. This includes both people and businesses. But we hope some will take this opportunity to get ahead of the curve and buy into the principle of the thing.

Just Posted

Coming up in Cowichan: MS Bike this weekend; Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan

MS Bike is personal for Heather Armstrong MS Ambassador Heather Armstrong has… Continue reading

Why I am riding for Hospice

Cycle of Life Tour coming this weekend

Lake Flashback: Problem tubers on the river, coliform closes Duck Pond, and a timely whale rescue in Nitinat Lake

Plus this week: special newlyweds from 1979, and a unique idea for island garbage

VIDEO: CVRD already hard at work on climate change issues, Morrison tells One Cowichan

‘Not only is our rubber on the road, we’re up to speed!’ CVRD chair answers climate action critics

VIDEO: Sod-turning for $10 million Cowichan Hospice House a joyful event

A happy crowd gathered near Cairnsmore Place to celebrate the arrival of Hospice House

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Most Read